World champion Viswnathan Anand played out his second draw in the Zurich Chess Challenge, easily holding world number two Vladimir Kramnik [ Images ] of Russia [ Images ] to an easy draw in the second round in Zurich.
After playing out a draw with Fabiano Caruana of Italy [ Images ] in the opener also as black, Anand faced even less difficulties against Kramnik whose attempts to get advantage were thwarted.
The other game of the four-players double round-robin tournament between Boris Gelfand of Israel and Caruana also ended in a draw but only after the young Italian gave a real scare to the last world championship challenger.
With all four games in the tournament ending in draws so far, the hunt for the leader continues with four rounds still to come in the super tournament. All the four players are tied on one point each.
For Anand the tournament has started well as both the draws have come with black pieces. In the remaining four games now the Indian ace gets to play with three white games and his chances of striking are much higher.
In the first round against Caruana, Anand was stretched a little in the opening and enjoyed slightly better prospects towards the end. However against Kramnik it was a pretty listless draw.
Reaching a Catalan opening via transposition, Anand accepted the early trade-of-queens offer by Kramnik and reached the endgame pretty soon. Kramnik could not stop Anand from exchanging pieces at will and the pure rook endgames arose on the board that offered little chances for either player.
In the commentary room, the experts agreed that Kramnik can beat almost 90 per cent Grandmasters playing similar position. However, they said: "Vishy (Anand) just falls in the other 10 percent." The game was drawn in 41 moves.
Caruana came up with an improvement on his own game against Levon Aronian of Armenia and had Gelfand on the ropes.
Playing the black side of a Grunfeld defense, the Italian yet again proved superior in preparation and got the advantage in the middle game as Gelfand's king ran for cover.
After the trading of rooks, Caruana got a huge advantage but made a critical error that allowed Gelfand to claw back in the game. The Israeli did not give the second chance and the draw was agreed to after 40 moves.